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Falklands 360°

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Discover a profusion of life on the first-ever circumnavigation of the Falklands. Hike the landscape to view rockhopper, Magellanic & king penguins, and a massive breeding colony of over 150,000 breeding pairs of albatross. See 8,000-pound bull elephant seals in dramatic battles for territory and the world’s rarest—and some say most aggressive—raptor, the striated caracara, known locally as the Johnny rook. Meet the islanders, many of whom have become friends of the expedition team, in the capital of Stanley and outer settlements, for an insider perspective on their lives in this remote locale.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago
Day 2 : Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship
Day 3 : Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
Day 4 : Steeple Jason/Falkland Islands
Day 5 : Carcass/Saunders
Day 6 : Stanley
Day 7 : George and Barren Islands
Day 8 : Fox Bay
Day 9 : New Island Nature Reserve
Day 10 : At Sea
Day 11 : Disembark Ushuaia/Fly to Santiago

Highlights

  • Discover seldom-visited Isla de los Estados off Argentina
  • Visit the world’s largest colony of black-browed albatross
  • Learn first hand the Falklands’ long and complicated history
  • Experience life in a far-flung outpost

Ship

National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

The pristine and remote landscape of the Falkland Islands Rockhoppers and Cormorants at The Rookery Falkland Islands An old ship rusts in a Falkland Islands harbor

Day 1 Santiago

Arrive in Santiago and check into your fine hotel, where you’ll relax before setting out to explore this energetic, sophisticated city. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you fly by private charter flight from Santiago to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, to embark National Geographic Orion. The morning's charter flight offers impressive views of the stunningly rugged terrain of Patagonia as you venture further south, you'll enjoy lunch during a catamaran cruise of the scenic Beagle Channel before embarking ship.

Day 3 Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By special permission visit the extraordinary Staten Island, one of the newest nature reserves in the southern hemisphere. National Geographic Orion is one of two expedition ships ever allowed to visit here—a place of superlatives, visited primarily by a few scientists and staff of the tiny naval observatory. The island was named by Dutch explorers in 1615. Its mountainous, forested landscapes and rugged fjords are beautiful, and you’ll revel in the exclusive opportunity to explore it. You will have a chance to experience colonies of seabirds and marine mammals rarely seen, and a chance to be one of the few expeditioners to step on and explore this remarkable island.

Day 4 Steeple Jason/Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Each Falkland Island is a variation on the theme of topographical beauty with white-sand beaches, vaulting cliffs, windswept moors and the sunlit yellows and sage greens of waving tussock grass. The Falklands boast thousands of irresistible gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, as well as wallows of elephant seals, and relaxed South American sea lions and fur seals hauled out on the rocks. Your visit to one of the most remote, windswept and arguably most important wildlife conservation sites in all of the Falklands, Steeple Jason, will allow you to hike across the island to the largest colony of black-browed albatross in the world—over 150,000 breeding pairs. It is also home to gregarious and rarest species of raptor in the world—the striated caracara, locally known as Johnny Rooks.

Day 5 Carcass/Saunders

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your morning landing on Carcass Island provides the opportunity for a hike to view Magellanic penguins nesting among the tussock grass, a myriad bird life, local flora, and sweeping views of the harbor. Stop for a lavish Falkland Islands tea with longtime friends the McGill family, owners of the island. Your afternoon adventure is on Saunders Island where you'll visit a white sandy beach, only rivaled by the Caribbean. The island is home to gentoo and Magellanic penguins and be on the lookout for Conmerson’s dolphins surfing in the waves.

Day 6 Stanley

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The largest and most populated city in the islands provides myriad options for exploration. A guided tour of the area to experience local “English” life; a visit to the family-owned and operated Long Island Farm with demonstrations of peat harvesting and sheep shearing along with a local tea service; a hike to Mount William, the historic site of a large battle during the Falklands War; or a short walk from the pier to the Stanley Growers Hydroponics Gardens that produces all the fresh produce for the small community of 2,500.

Day 7 George and Barren Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rarely visited by outsiders, you have the unique opportunity to visit George and Barren Islands. The morning focus will be Zodiac rides and hikes to encounter sea lions, elephant seals, and Magellanic penguins. The afternoon takes you to the local settlement to experience sheep-shearing and a typical English tea.

Day 8 Fox Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit a local ranch for a superb barbecue. Mix with locals and ranch hands to learn about their ways of life.

Day 9 New Island Nature Reserve

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This large island is a prime spot for excellent nature watching. Your expedition team members Tony and Kim Chater know it well—they previously owned the northern half of it! Today their property is merged with that of the other owner, Ian Strange, creating the New Island Conservation Trust so that the entire island is now a nature reserve. The aim to return the island to its previous glory before introduced predators arrived on the island, during the whaling and sealing days. They still graze sheep on a limited fenced-in area, while at the same time have been experimenting with re-establishing tussock habitat in another. From Settlement Harbour, you walk to a mixed colony of rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross, and king shags. You will also visit the newly established historical museum.

Day 10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the escort of seabirds that cross the bow and follow in your wake. There’s time to share photos with the onboard National Geographic photographer, catch up on the book you haven’t had a minute to read, and write emails home, saying “don’t want this to end.”

Day 11 Disembark Ushuaia/Fly to Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark in Ushuaia with some time to explore this southernmost city in the world before proceeding to the airport for your charter flight to Santiago for connecting overnight flights home.

National Geographic Orion

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$10,850
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Veranda deck - suite

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

INCLUDED FEATURES
Aboard ship:
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
- Fitness center or exercise equipment
- Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
- The guidance and company of expedition staff

Ashore:
- Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
- Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
- Sightseeing & entrance fees
- Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
- Transfers to and from group flights
- The expertise of expedition staff

Activities:
- All excursions
- Zodiac & kayak explorations
- Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge

NOT INCLUDED
Airfare:
- International and internal airfare

Pre- and post-expedition:
- Additional hotel nights
- Private transfers
- Travel Protection Plan
- Passport, visa, and immigration fees
- Expedition extensions
- Gratuities

Aboard ship
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa treatments
- Gratuities
- Scuba diving
- Laundry
- Internet and phone
- Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jenna F

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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